Last summer, I was doing a presentation for Clever Container (a fantastic company that sells products for organization that I happen to be an independent distributor for), and one of the ladies in attendance asked a very pointed question:
“What if I just don’t care?”
I shook my head and asked her to clarify.
“What if I just don’t care about organizing anything?”
“You don’t care at all?” I asked. “It doesn’t bother you when things are out of place or messy?”
“No, not a bit!”
“Then this is probably not for you!” I responded, and we all laughed together.
That statement rings true for many, and you know what? That’s okay!
Organization is something that’s been inside me ever since I can remember. When I was very small, I remember getting in trouble because my mom would put me to bed, and then find me up an hour later, re-organizing my room. I remember telling her, “But I can’t go to sleep until this is done!” Her response was something similar to “You’d better get in bed or you won’t be able to sleep because your back-side is hurting…” Remember that, mom?
As I got older and had chores around the house, I remember clearing off the table for dinner, and deciding to organize a whole stack of paperwork that had been left out. Turns out that it’s never a good idea or organize other people’s stuff without them present – I got in some big trouble for “organizing” some of my dad’s business paperwork…I organized it so well that he couldn’t find it. After that, when I was asked to clean something, whichever parent made the request would follow it up with, “Don’t ORGANIZE it, just CLEAN it.” I was always a little disappointed with that request.
In high school my friends used to make fun of me for having a color-coded planner. Oh, it was fabulous, believe you me! I STILL have friends from high school who mention that planner, and that was…well, we won’t say exactly how many years ago that was!
In college I started keeping baskets in my trunk to help me keep my two jobs and all my classes straight, and yet again, I still have people joke with me about that. (Yes, the baskets are still in use in my trunk!)
Once I got into the adult work place, I had co-workers tell me that they were sure I spent more time organizing things than actually getting anything done. (Well, they told me that until they got to know me and realized how much I actually accomplished due to the organizational structures that I had set into motion.)
And this whole Road to Domestication thing came about when I got engaged, because I knew I would finally get to organize a household the way I wanted to! Not to say that I don’t consult my husband on these things…I really do try to make his life easier, not more complicated. But quite honestly, he doesn’t care what I do, as long as I save important things he might need later. He doesn’t want to find those things himself, anyways, so it all works out!
My point is this: you have to find what works for you. If keeping your house spotless doesn’t work for you, don’t try to do it, or you’ll just make yourself miserable. And life’s too short for that! You have to focus on the good and happy and wonderful things in your life! Don’t waste time locking yourself into what you think you should be doing, or being. There’s no point to that!
Often times I have people say to me that they wish they liked to organize things more, that their house was always a mess, that they were embarrassed to have me see inside their cabinets…and it always amuses me, because, to be blunt…I DON’T CARE! And people seem to find the fact that I don’t care if they’re not organized, or if their house is a mess, or if the inside of their cabinets isn’t perfect even more disturbing than if I DID care! If you want to change, I am thrilled to help you! But if you don’t? I’ll love you just the same! You know why?
Because the same scenario is true for me.
I have people tell me all the time that one day I’ll get tired of cooking all the time. One day, I’ll get sick of cleaning everything. One day I’ll have a mental breakdown and set fire to all of my organizational tools. And oh my word, they can’t wait until I have kids and my whole world just falls to pieces.
Honestly, I gave up letting those comments affect me. Because I know who I am. I know where my strengths are, and I’m even more aware of my weaknesses. If things happen to me that people can’t wait to see happen, and they all gather around to tell me “I told you so”, then that’s fine. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
But until then, I am flat-out enjoying coming home from work every day and cooking a big meal for my husband. I am having the time of my life redecorating my office. I cannot WAIT to go to the newly-built Container Store in Tampa, and I LOVE reorganizing my files…and my closets…and anything else I can get my hands on!
Remember the lady I started off talking about? The one who “didn’t care”? Turns out, within the next few months, she’s gonna be a grandma! She is SO excited about it, and it has motivated her to get organized in ways she never thought possible! As she moves from one organizational project to another, she updates me. She’s thrilled with what she’s accomplishing, and she’s so proud of herself – and I’m proud of her, too! She cares now! And it’s not because anyone made her care – it’s because she found a reason that means the world to her, and that one reason has encouraged her more than anything else ever could have. Amazing!
My question for you is, what motivates you? What motivates you to do things you love to do? What motivates you to do things for your family? What do you flat-out enjoy doing? You know exactly what it is that makes you want to do the happy dance! So? What are you waiting for?!